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Appointments Department

Volume 467: debated on Tuesday 12 July 1949

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asked the Minister of Labour how many persons were placed during 1948 by his Appointments Department and at what initial salary; what was the average cost, including overhead expenses, per person placed; how many of these placings were in Government service or nationalised industries; and whether such placings were competitive with private agencies.

Thirty thousand, nine hundred and seventy-four in 1948. The great majority of these were in private employment. Records are not maintained in such a way as to give the other statistical information asked for. There is no restriction on competition by private agencies in this field, and there is a substantial amount of co-operation with a number of them.

If there are no statistics available, how can one possibly gauge the efficiency of this service? Surely the Minister should be in a position to prove that the Appointments Department are at least as efficient as private agencies?

We do not keep a record of the exact wages paid to various people; we know that they range from about £400 to over £1,000. The other statistics as to the cost per individual cannot be accurately ascertained because this Department does other work in addition to actual appointments, such as careers advice, manpower surveys and the recruiting service for the nursing profession. All these are involved, and we cannot separate them.

Would the right hon. Gentleman agree that there is nothing which the Appointments Department can do which private agencies cannot do more cheaply?

I do not admit that. I am satisfied that many of the 30,000 whom we have placed would not have been placed but for the services which we provided for them.